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Christy Norton of Roseburg rolls up her sleeve to receive a flu shot at drive-thru flu clinic at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in December 2017.

TRI CITY — Douglas Public Health Network, in partnership with local emergency management and medical personnel, will provide free drive-thru flu vaccinations 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Tri City Fire Department.

Organizers hope the event — available to anyone 6 months and older — offers more than a convenient way to be protected from the flu. The point-of-dispensing exercise hopes to prepare the county for the next widespread disease or other emergency. If county officials need to dispense large amounts of vaccine, antibiotics, or other medicines to the community, point-of-dispensing exercises provide a chance to practice emergency plans.

“Influenza comes around every year and can be very dangerous for some seniors, those with weak immune systems and the occasional otherwise healthy child or young adult who gets a severe case of the flu,” said Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, public health officer for the county.

Dannenhoffer said based on this year's experience in Australia, this is predicted to be an average or above-average year for the flu, and the flu vaccine seems to be well matched to the expected flu viruses.

“So the very best thing you can do to protect yourself and others in the community is to get a flu shot,” Dannenhoffer said.

The event will be conducted at the Tri City Fire Station, 140 S. Old Pacific Highway, Tri City.

POD participants will be asked to complete a brief intake form, receive medical screening if indicated and proceed to a vaccination station for the free flu vaccine.

The intake form may be completed prior to arrival by downloading the free Dispense Assist app and either printing it or simply allowing the intake staff to scan a QR code on their mobile device.

The exercise is in partnership with several agencies including the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management, Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Oregon Health Authority, Aviva Health, Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Home Health, Umpqua Community College, SERV-OR, Red Cross, and Amedisys Home Health.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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